BizNews
March 23, 2022
Your weekly round up of BizNews from throughout Greater Victoria
We're thrilled to welcome you back to in-person events! See photos from last week's Mixer here.
Consumer confidence up despite rising inflation
Canadians aren't letting pain at the pump or higher grocery bills get them down.

According to the latest report from the Conference Board of Canada, consumer confidence is up 2.2% in March from the month before. The conference board found that Canadians were buoyed by the strong labour market recovery with 26.8% optimistic that job opportunities will increase by the fall. That's up 4% from February. However, more Canadians expressed reservations about their current (up 4% to 29.2%) and future finances (up 5.1% to 25.6%).
Province looking to help $6.7B non-profit sector
One of BC's often overlooked economic sectors is getting a closer look. The province has contracted a Labour Market Study of the non-profit sector, which includes about 29,000 organizations employing 86,000 people and generating $6.7 billion in economic activity.

In the early months of the pandemic, the Victoria Foundation was part of a group of organizations that worked together to report on how non-profits were faring. They found that organizations focused on helping arts and culture and sports and recreation had reduced revenue, while those in the health and social services sectors were in high demand.

The 20-month study is being conducted by Vantage Point at a cost of $290,000.
Victoria Foundation: Member since 2004
Greater Victoria getting 100 complex care spaces
Safe communities are a fundamental requirement for businesses to operate, and The Chamber applauds news that Greater Victoria is getting 100 complex care spaces. Housing is the foundation for helping people experiencing homelessness, but many also require support with mental health and addictions. Complex care is a good step toward reducing pressure on healthcare and policing, and making our communities safer.

"The pandemic has shown us that mental health challenges affect all of us, including people who haven't had access to the support they need," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We've been clear from the start that solutions such as complex care are needed to help people successfully escape the cycle of homelessness and addiction. We're grateful for this investment in our community, and look forward to working with our partners to get to the root of this complex and challenging issue."

An increase in property crime and reports of violence throughout the pandemic are tied to the larger issues of housing and mental illness. "The first step in stabilizing a person who is self medicating, living with an addiction and without shelter is to provide stable housing and specific supports for their challenges," Williams said.
International visitors renew hope for tourism sector
The return of international visitors is good news for our region's tourism sector.

The recent announcement by Kenmore Air that regularly scheduled flights between Seattle and Victoria will return on April 1 is a great step forward. The Seattle area is a major source of visitors to Victoria and we know businesses here can't wait to welcome them back. Adding flights creates more options for travellers, including the previously announced return of the Victoria Clipper on April 15, and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority's start of a new cruise ship season on April 6.

To help spread the word, Destination BC has launched a new $6.7 million marketing campaign aimed at international visitors. The campaign, called Discover the BC Effect, aims to "drive emotional urgency" that will encourage people in Washington, California, Britain and Australia to travel to our province. The effort will complement Destination Greater Victoria's ongoing $2.2 million campaign.
Kenmore Air: Member since 1987
Clipper Navigation Ltd. - Victoria Clipper: Member since 1995
Destination Greater Victoria: Member since 1988
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority: Member since 2003
Welcome back to in-person events
Protocols for all in-person Chamber events
 
To continue to safeguard the health of our community we require all in-person event attendees to be fully vaccinated. Mask wearing is to each individuals' discretion. You can review our COVID-19 safety protocols here.
 
Please be aware that the requirements for our event may change on short notice and we will follow the current PHO directives applicable on the event day.
The Chamber Annual General Meeting
We invite you to join us for our Annual General Meeting. In addition to our usual agenda including recent advocacy wins, a report from the Chair, and audited financial statements, we are pleased to have the Hon. Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure speak to us about Budget 2022 and Transportation on the South Island. 
 
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure plans and improves transportation networks, builds new infrastructure, provides transportation services, and implements transportation policies, to allow for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. Join us to learn about how the Ministry’s priorities will impact your business.
Sponsored by:
Tues., April 12 | 11:30 AM - 1 PM
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
100 Harbour Rd, Victoria
Prodigy Group April Mingle
Time to get out and meet some new friends as the Prodigy Group launches its first live event of the year. This year's theme is creating connections greater than business.

Join us for a drink and appies in a space that will foster great connections and future collaborations with a diverse group of emerging professionals.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., April 14 | 5 - 7:00 PM
Friends of Dorothy Lounge
537 Johnson St., Victoria, BC
2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards
The Chamber is excited to announce that the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards are now sold out. This gala event recognizes businesses in Greater Victoria that have achieved a standard of excellence in the community in a spectacular night of celebration.

If you would like to be added to the waitlist for this event, please email specialevents@victoriachamber.ca
Saturday, May 7 | 6-10 pm
The Fairmont Empress, 721 Government St.
Click here to see the 2022 finalists! Finalists were chosen by an independent panel of prominent business leaders who served as judges.
Business Leaders Luncheon: Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries
Hear from BC Ferries on their plans to evolve our coast ferry system. One of the world's largest marine passenger systems, BC Ferries is an economic driver of our province. For 60 years, BC Ferries has been dedicated to providing safe and efficient travel to their customers. Their role as a ferry transportation provider goes beyond getting passengers from point A to B. With 25 routes throughout the west coast of BC, they serve as advocates for the coastal environment and communities where they operate.
 
Mark Collins, BC Ferries CEO, will take you through how the company is preparing for the future and contributing to a sustainable environment.
Sponsored by:
Thurs., May 12 | 11:30 - 1 PM
Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA, 146 Kingston St, Victoria 
Chamber Chats with CEO Bruce Williams
Helping Hands in Healthcare
The healthcare provided for us in our hospitals is not solely funded by government. Many of us, maybe you too, provide much needed support to enhance our treatment.

We hear more in this Chamber Chat with Victoria Hospitals Foundation Executive Director Avery Brohman.
Special thanks to our series sponsor:
Victoria Hospitals Foundation: Member Since 2019
PocketPills – A new Chambers Plan benefit
The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan is now offering prescription medication delivery for all Chambers Plan members through PocketPills.

PocketPills is a proudly Canadian online pharmacy and technology company that provides free home delivery for prescription medications — often by the next business day. They also offer direct access to their team of pharmacists by text, live chat, phone or email. And their app allows individuals to manage not only their own prescription needs, but also those of family members.

Plan members are also eligible for an extra 10% drug co-insurance coverage on prescription drugs filled through PocketPills. Get more coverage for the same cost to you and your employees.

Looking for more information on how to use this new benefit? For more than 17 years, RDF Group Ltd has helped Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce members design a Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance plan reflecting the size and requirements of their businesses. For more information, contact Ryan at RDF Group
Celebrating our Chamber Champions
Showcase opportunities in your industry

Find the best talent in your industry with The Chamber’s job board.

When you post your next job, be sure to add your "industry type" to ensure your job can be found by the right candidates. The list of industry types are constantly being updated, and can be modified to highlight any industry. Don’t see your industry listed? Send us an email!

Also remember to add a specific category for the job in the position title. From Admin and HR to Marketing and Comms positions, you can see all 14 categories here.

If you have any questions about the job board or need assistance posting, email members@victoriachamber.ca
Grow your business with successful exporting
Looking for a potential 18% increase in export revenue? The Chamber invites you to bounce forward out of the pandemic by taking advantage of the upcoming local Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)!

TAP is designed to help SMEs TAP into their full export potential. It has a proven track record helping participants get results. With new trade agreements, competitive Canadian dollar, and new business opportunities, now is the ideal time to extend your company's reach through international expansion of goods and services. Since 2017, World Trade Centre Vancouver has successfully delivered 24 TAP cohorts in B.C.

Qualifying Chamber Members pay only $500 (a $4,500 savings).
Apply Now

Enter Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce in the Who Referred you section.
Learn more about the program and apply today at tapbc.ca.

Have questions? Call TAP B.C. Team on 604-640-5491 or email info@wtcvancouver.ca.
Workshop Days
9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m.
June 1, 2, and 3

Mentorship Days 
8:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.
July 12 and 13

Application Deadline:
May 17, 2022
Member News
Seaspan introduces HoloShip facility

Seaspan Shipyards has created a new HoloShip facility — an immersive tool to develop, integrate and test the capabilities of vessels. Using virtual reality headsets and a 5.6-metre-wide display, engineers can access digital models of ships and interact with different components onboard. The facility will be used to benefit non-combat vessels that are being constructed as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Member since 2002
Seaspan Victoria Shipyards: Chamber Champion since 2020
Saanich recognized for sustainable buildings

The District of Saanich has received an award for their contributions to Building Benchmark BC, an initiative to reduce energy consumption and mitigate climate impact from buildings. Saanich won in the category of 11-30 submissions to the program, which aims to drive market transformation for more sustainable projects and improve energy literacy.

Corporation of the District of Saanich: Member since 2019
Buccaneer Days returns to Esquimalt

The Township of Esquimalt’s Buccaneer Days is returning this year from May 13-15. Celebrated for more than 60 years, Buccaneer Days features a dance, free local entertainment, skydivers and more. The community-focused weekend will act as a fundraiser for more than 20 community organizations.

Township of Esquimalt: Member since 2020
Create Places Colwood

The City of Colwood is awarding residents up to $5,000 to reimagine public spaces. As part of The Create Places Colwood grant, the city is looking for new ideas to enhance community areas. Ideas include garden enhancements, community art installations and more. Applications for grants will be accepted until April 10.

City of Colwood: Member since 2020
Excellence across Vancouver Island

The 2022 Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards were celebrated last week, and three Chamber members were named as winners. Arthur Murray Dance Studio won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Equilibrium won the Health Care Business of the Year Award, and Barnacle Systems won the Technology Business of the Year Award.

Equilibrium is a finalist in the 2022 Greater Victoria Business Awards in the Business of the Year (11-39 Employees) category, and at the 2020 Greater Victoria Business Awards, Barnacle Systems won the Innovation Award.

Arthur Murray Dance Studio: Member since 2021
Equilibrium: Member since 2008
Barnacle Systems Inc: Member since 2019
UVic investing in net-zero fund

The University of Victoria Foundation has invested $25 million into a net-zero transition fund to help facilitate the transition to a carbon-neutral economy and divest their current portfolio. The Brookfield Global Transition Fund identifies market opportunities that reduce energy consumption and increase sustainable initiatives, which align with the foundation's goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
University of Victoria: Member since 1976 
University of Victoria: Chamber Champion since 2020
Put some spring in your step

Looking for a fun way to get active this spring? Lifetime Networks is hosting a Spring Step Challenge from now until April 30. Participants can register individually or as a team to raise funds for the organization, all while having the chance to win prizes drawn throughout the event.

Lifetime Networks: Member since 2013
Do you have a success story? We want to hear from you
Member to Member discounts
Members can post Coupons and Discounts free of charge here.
Welcome to our newest members!